The Waiver Wire – Week 8
In every fantasy season, there comes a point where the waiver wire just seems to be all used up! No real difference makers are out there, no one you can feel safe starting every week, and all you need the waiver wire for is to help fill the gap a bye week player has left! Well, folks, week 8 is that mark! We were able to escape week 7 with minimal injury news to report but we are not lucky enough to have gone completely injury free.
The biggest name to be injured this week was Carson Palmer who broke his arm and will be sidelined for 4 to 6 weeks. This injury obviously hurts Palmer’s fantasy value but it also crushes the values of Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown, Jaron Brown, J.J. Nelson, and may keep David Johnson sidelined for the remainder of the year depending on how the Cardinals can do in Palmer’s absence. Another quarterback who went down this weekend was Jay Cutler who will be sidelined potentially up to 3 weeks with cracked ribs. The other injuries to report Mike Wallace left with a concussion and did not return, C.J. Prosise reaggravated his injured ankle in pass protection and has a good shot at missing week 8, Delaine Walker was seen on crutches after the Titans overtime win but with the Titans week 8 bye Walker may miss no time, and lastly Joe Thomas tore his triceps ending his consecutive snap streak at 10,363. I know Joe is not a player you start or someone you are looking to replace but when you play in 166 straight games you get a shot out in this article. Heal up Big Joe and let’s go start another streak!
With 6 teams on bye this week (Arizona, Green Bay, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants, Tennessee) & 6 more on bye week next week (Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota, New England, Pittsburgh) fantasy owners are going to be looking to the waiver wire to fill their immediate need or use it to plan ahead for the week 9 byes.
Let’s not waste any more time and dive right into this week’s top waiver wire adds!
As a disclaimer, all players must be owned in less than 60% of ESPN or Yahoo leagues. Ownership percentages are in parenthesizes. Below I have ranked the top 3 adds at each position with a bonus player or two sprinkled in throughout.
Andy Dalton (ESPN 32% / Yahoo 55%) – The Red Rocket I mean Riffle (I’m looking at you Jim Nance) looked to be on his way to another solid stream start on Sunday but the Steelers and more importantly the Bengals OC got in the way causing for a major let down in the 2nd half. Dalton only finished with 10 points but all is not lost for sir comb over! I have Dalton as my number 1 streaming option this week because Indy is coming to town! Indy has given up 3 straight 300 yard passes and one of them was to Blake Bortles just last week! They’ve also allowed three multiple touchdown games. Dalton couldn’t ask for a better bounce-back game and looks to be on paper perfect for owners who are looking for a one week fill in.
Tyrod Taylor (ESPN 59% / Yahoo 58%) – TyGod came out of the bye slinging in his best matchup of the season so far! He looked great and was able to finish as a QB1 for week 7. Taylor has great long-term value and has a nice matchup vs Oakland at home who just allowed Alex Smith to carve them up for 342 yards and 3 touchdowns as a one-week rental. Taylors remaining schedule is favorable and he should be the top waiver target for any owner who lost Palmer or Cutler.
Josh McCown (ESPN 12% / Yahoo 12%) – McCown every week just comes out and slings the rock all over the field! He now has thrown multiple touchdowns in three straight games and faces a Falcons team in complete disarray. The performance against Miami makes me feel pretty comfortable recommending Josh McCown as a bye week streamer for week 8.
Bonus: Matt Moore (ESPN 1%/ Yahoo 1%) – This just in Jay Cutler is bad at football and this just in he is going to be out for 3 weeks! RUN to the waiver wire, pick up Matt Moore, and watch as Jay Cutler never gets his starting job back. Off the bench, cold Matt Moore was able to throw 2 touchdowns and almost 200 yards. With 4 days to prepare, the Dolphins travel to Baltimore to face a bad Ravens team who has no offense. This is no the ideal first start of the Matt Moore era but if you can hold off on starting him this week I am confident he will pay you back!
Dion Lewis (ESPN 20% / Yahoo 29%) – This is Dion Lewis’s team now! I said to pick him last week and by the looks of ownership percentage you didn’t listen, well luckily you have another shot to acquire the starting RB for the New England Patriots. Lewis doesn’t bring tremendous touchdown upside (2 on the year) but the volume and yardage are nice and his ability to attack a defense through the air gives Lewis a safe floor each week. Lewis is a strong flex option moving forward on the best offense in football.
DeAndre Washington (ESPN 3% / Yahoo 3%) – Don’t go run to the wire and pick up Latavius Murray. Murray ran well on a bad Baltimore defense and with Cleveland on deck across the pond look for him to fall back down to earth. Instead look to DeAndre Washington who has been thrust into the co-starring role with Jalen Richard after the Marshawn Lynch suspension and has a great shot even against a strong Bills run defense to do some damage. Washington is the far superior athlete (124.4 SPARQ-x) of the two and with the increased volume should be able to surprise fantasy owners with nice production on the road.
Marlon Mack (ESPN 26% / Yahoo 40%) – Return of the Mack once again, Return of the Mack Pump up the world. Marlon Mack is back and for the first time all season he out snapped Frank Gore!! IT IS FINALLY HAPPENING! Ok, this game got out of hand early and the coaching staff decided to rest their aging RB and let the rookie take the hits so we have temper expectations still but the increased volume after the Robert Turbin injury is promising. We are still waiting for the Mack breakout game and it might not come for a little while but the volume Mack is going to see makes him worth rostering.
Bonus: Austin Ekeler (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 1%) – The Chargers might have found their air back in Austin Ekeler who now has a receiving and rushing touchdown on the year. With New England on deck and the Chargers riding a three-game winning streak, Ekeler is a great dart throw in deeper leagues. Regardless of the final score, NE is still giving up a ton of yards and Ekeler’s skill set will be useful in helping spread the Base defense of the Patriots.
Kenny Stills (ESPN 15% / Yahoo 21%) – Kenny Stills was able to seize the opportunity with Parker sidelined with an ankle injury and delivered a WR1 performance and has now scored in back to back weeks! Matt Moore looked Stills way early and often and I believe with him behind center it increases Still’s fantasy value. Like I mentioned above with Moore if you can afford to hold onto Stills he may be able to pay dividends when Miami faces Car, TB, NE in weeks 10, 11, & 12.
Ted Ginn Jr. (ESPN 44% / Yahoo 51%) – Go and have yourself a game Teddy Ginn! Ginn hauled in all 7 of his targets and finished with 141 yards to lead the team. I know Snead was a surprise inactive and when he returns the target numbers should drop but Ginn is turning into one of the most reliable receivers for Drew Brees and with Chicago & Tampa Bay at home on deck, I like Ginn’s chances of staying hot.
Robby Anderson (ESPN 13% / Yahoo 19%) – The New York Jets are the surprise team of the year at the week 8 mark and Robby Anderson is their number one option and has seen 22 targets over the past 3 games! As fantasy owners, we want to run towards volume and right now the Jets are throwing it early and often and usually in the direction of Robby Anderson. With Atlanta and Buffalo at home, Anderson owners will be rewarded after those two tough games with a week 10 cupcake vs Tampa Bay and their 30th ranked passing defense.
Bonus: JuJu Smith-Schuster (ESPN 7% / Yahoo 14%) – It looks like it’s time to take JuJu over Martavis seriously. JuJu is a great grab and stash as you wait and see how the #2 WR competition unfolds. JuJu is going to need to see higher per game target numbers before you can trust him week in and week out.
Jared Cook (ESPN 59% / Yahoo 40%) – The matchup vs the Bills is not ideal but again after the passing attack woke up Thursday night, Cook saw 7 targets and was able to get over 100 yards receiving for his first time as a Raider. Buffalo again is not an ideal spot you want to roll Cook out in but the volume is what you are looking for in an every week fantasy option.
Tyler Kroft (ESPN 10% / Yahoo 15%) – Kroft scored once again this past Sunday making it 3 touchdowns over his past 3 games and welcomed the Colts to town in a plus matchup. Kroft is a top streaming option as is Dalton above. The Colts have allowed a TE to score twice over the past three weeks. The Colts rank 30th in passing yards allowed per game on the road (299.3) & are giving up the most points in the 4th quarter (14.7 on the road)!
George Kittle (ESPN 13% / Yahoo 22%) – Kittle was held in check but the Cowboys blitzed them right from the kickoff and unfortunately C.J. Beathard was overmatched at home. Kittle’s numbers suffered as he only saw 2 targets all game. Kittle is yet another player who has a rough week 8 matchup (@Phi) but if you can hang in you will get rewarded with a week 9 tilt vs Ari & week 10 vs NYG. Arizona had allowed 3 straight touchdowns to a TE before it was broken this past weekend and the Giants have given up a touchdown to a TE in every game this season.
Defenses to Stream
Philadelphia Eagles (ESPN 42% / Yahoo 58%) vs SF
Cincinnati Bengals (ESPN 35% / Yahoo 23%) vs Ind
Miami Dolphins (ESPN 35% / Yahoo 28%) vs Bal
New Orleans Saints (ESPN 51% / Yahoo 44%) vs Chi
Kickers to Stream
Harrison Butker (ESPN 34% / Yahoo 52%) vs Den
Matt Prater (ESPN 53% / Yahoo 34%) vs Pit
Graham Gano (ESPN 44% / Yahoo 50%) vs TB
Randy Bullock (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 1%) vs Ind
That will do it for Week 8 of The Waiver Wire. Do you need EVEN more fantasy advice? You can find us on Twitter @TFFGurus or feel free to email us at TrophyTime@TFFGurus.com. I will see you all next Tuesday for another edition of The Waiver Wire. Best of luck this week and remember championships are won on the waiver wire!